LISTEN: The Individual, the Church, and the Ars Moriendi (the Art of Dying), Part 1 (Preparing for the Inevitable #14 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death.

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

The featured quote for this episode is from Euripides. He said, “No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Individual, the Church, and the Ars Moriendi (the Art of Dying), Part 1” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

In late winter during the 59th year of his life, John Donne braved the weather and rough roads of the English countryside to keep his final preaching engagement before the king in London. He had spent most of that winter, which would be his last, battling “consumption,” and on several occasions he nearly died. But he was eager to simply preach again. Donne had grown to love his midlife calling as a preacher. Better known today and early in his own life as a poet of love, Donne was also an exquisite expositor.

Throughout his life, Donne was a very public figure in London. His poetry circulated widely, passed and copied from hand to hand. As a young man, his earliest verses spoke of a wild decadence—trysts with women and overseas adventures. But public scorn of his elopement followed by years without steady work sobered his spirit. Years later, when the king offered him a position as a priest in the Church of England, Donne accepted. He was wildly successful in his new career and became even more prominent in London society. So, when Donne performed his death, he performed it as he had lived—as though on a stage or written into a poem.

An often sickly man, it is no surprise that much of Donne’s writing dealt with death. Meditating on death was nothing new to Donne. His famous Elegies poetically address death and dying. And his popular Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions are his reflections after nearly dying from plague as it raged through London. Yet Donne never wanted to publish his poetry, for which he is better known. During his final illness, Donne compiled and edited his sermons for publication. As if he were arranging them for posterity to be sure the world knew how he valued his preaching, Donne devoted his healthy hours to this final task.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.